Google Down the Line!: 2007-11-11

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Venus Williams media machine takes Manhattan

The Venus Williams media machine continued yesterday with the 6-time Grand Slam champion appearing at the Steve & Barry's store in Manhattan to sign autographs for some very lucky fans. The full collection for EleVen was on display.

Later on in the day, V went from casual to classy for the 7th on Sale black-tie gala dinner. She played picture partner with Andre Leon Talley, the editor-at-large for fashion rag Vogue. She looks stunning in the black & white graphic cocktail dress - simple and elegant.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

+ THURSDAY NETCORDS: Roger, Andy vs. Brad II, Ana vs. Jelena ...Venus and Serena double up, Bec cries and more

(image courtesy of nbawant2b)

- So why did Andy Murray really dump Brad Gilbert? This is London claims his large entourage is to blame - more specifically, the presence of Mamma Murray aka Judy. According to their report, "A brilliant coach in her own right who has come up with more active title-winning players in her own family than the combined efforts of the Lawn Tennis Association put together, [Judy] still very much directs the traffic. Nobody knows the parts of her son's expansive game, or his complex psyche, better than she does. Since Murray came back from injury she has been present at the bigger events, such as the U.S. Open, the Davis Cup and the Madrid and Paris Masters." We bet the very vocal Gilbert wasn't thrilled to take the coaching back seat to Mamma Murray. Another coaching guru, Nick Bollettieri, doesn't believe one coach is sufficient in today's complex game. He tells The Independent, "I could envisage a team of three: a physical trainer, someone to work on his technique and someone to motivate him," said Bollettieri. Are you sure that's enough coach? We need that many just to get to our desk job everyday.

- Insider information: Listen in as Roger Federer quizzes Bjorn Borg on how to win the French Open, John McEnroe about his greatest tennis regrets, and then takes the hotseat as Borg and McEnroe ask the World No. 1 questions in the next Blackrock Champions podcast on Tuesday, Nov. 20th. To subscribe, click here.

- Serbian showdown: Top-5 players Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic will compete in an exhibition match in their home country at the Belgrade Arena on December 7th. The event called NAJJ Srbije will also feature Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic.

- The Sisters Sledge, Venus & Serena, will play doubles at the Aussie Open in 2008. Okay tournament officials, all together now, "CHA-CHING!"

- Young gun: 11-year-old Teertha Iska, India's No. 3 tennis player in the under-12 category and disciple of guru Nick Bollettieri, received her first corporate sponsor. Ah, to be 11 and loaded - those were the days...

- Rumors of pregnancy are swirling around Bec Hewitt, wife of Aussie hot-head Lleyton Hewitt, after the former actress broke down in tears giving a speech during her first official gig as ambassador of the Children's Hospital Westmead. We see the connection, really.

- Psych out: Anna Chakvetadze likes to play mind games on the court - with herself. The Russian top-tenner says, "I studied psychology at university, although I've not yet finished. [...] It helps you prepare properly for the match and when I'm playing I try to think about the next point and not the last one. I also make a point of fighting all the time as it puts pressure on your opponent when they see you don't want to give them any free points."

- Should Israeli players compete in Muslim countries?'s Bonnie D. Ford investigates.

FASHION FIX: Venus Williams talks EleVen, models for promotional pics

Here are some promotional images for EleVen by Venus Williams. The 6-time Grand Slam champion launched the full collection in Steve & Barry's stores today. The line features track suits, denim jackets, graphic t-shirts, down jackets, gym bags, jewelry and more.

V spoke with the New York Daily News about her favorite color in the line ("Silver went from my least favorite to my most, [...] I thought the silver would be too masculine, but now it's my favorite"), the inspiration behind the name EleVen - her first street address ("I never forget where I came from, but just move forward trying to do bigger and better things and live my dreams") and Serena ("She's always trying to see what I'm going to wear, [...] So, in that way, she's still a little sister, trying to see what her older sister is doing.")

(images via Steve & Barry's)

FASHION FIX: Serena joins Venus to launch EleVen at Tenjune in New York

Though she put on her best PR face at the Sony Ericsson Player's Party last weekend, Serena "ReRe" Williams was all genuine smiles at sister Venus' launch party for her fashion line EleVen at Tenjune in New York last night. The 120-piece collection hits Steve & Barry stores today.

We're liking V's metallic waist-coat matched with the dark skinny jeans and black t-shirt. Not too dressy or casual - just the right mix. And ReRe? The usually fickle fashionista looks like she just rolled out of bed. What's with the wrinkled dress and choppy bob? That's a no go ReRe...

(images via Bossip, Stereohyped)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BREAKING: Andy Murray splits from coach Brad Gilbert

Game over: The UK's Daily Record is reporting that Brit Andy Murray has fired coach Brad Gilbert after a "falling out." The Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body for British tennis, has been bankrolling their partnership with the understanding Gilbert would coach Andy and also help develop other British players in the program.

Andy released a statement via his website:

"Despite being injured for almost four months this year, I am pleased with my 2007 results and am very grateful for the help that the LTA have given me by providing Brad Gilbert as a coach but the time has come to move on to the next stage of my career."

“I am ranked 11 in the world and can now afford to pay my own way and so will now hire a team of experts, each to fulfil a specified role in the development of my tennis and fitness.”

The Daily Record reached Gilbert who had this to say:

"I don't really want to talk about it. I haven't spoken to the LTA.''

Gilbert was famously dumped by Andy Roddick after a brief and tumultuous, but successful, partnership which saw the American win the US Open and reach World No. 1.

FASHION FIX: Bjorn Borg launches Golden Age underwear collection

The Bjorn Borg global brand is on the rise, or should we say low-rise. The tennis legend launched his latest collection of underwear - Golden Age - in Sydney, Australia this week. The runway show was presented by MTV Australia's Darren MacMullen and featured a full range of men's and women's undergear.

We're kinda feeling the men's pastel undies - now we need to work on the tan, ripped body and we're all set.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PHOTO OP: Another 'one' in the books for Roger Federer

Roger Federer celebrated another year clinching the No. 1 ranking with a trophy presentation during this week's Masters Cup. He finished in the No. 1 position for the 4th straight year, joining fellow legends Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe as the only other players since 1973 to accomplish this feat.

SIGHTING: Maria Sharapova helps launch Dubai Lifestyle City, speaks out on recent tennis controversies

Despite her epic loss in the WTA Championships to Justine Henin this past weekend, the tennis supernova known as Maria "Shriek"apova flew to Dubai to help launch Dubai Lifestyle City, a lifestyle project based in Dubailand sprawling over an area of four million square feet. The City will include JW Marriott, IMG Academies (including the first non-US branch of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy), Cisco and Microsoft. Tony Ashai, the celebrated Beverley Hills designer, has designed Dubai Lifestyle City in the famed Tuscany style of architecture, reminiscent of the renaissance.

During the press conference, a sympathetic-sounding Maria had this to say on the recent controversies fighting to taint the sport:

"All of us make mistakes, but each of us need to work hard enough to keep the sport clean of all these unwanted things, [...] The WTA Tour is very competitive and all of us work very hard to be where we are based on our level of play. Unfortunately, not all of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes."

(images via Karl Jeffs/Gulf News)

Monday, November 12, 2007

PHOTO OP: The best and worst of the Masters Cup Player Portraits

Here's a look at this year's official Masters Cup Player Portrait. The Masters Cup site also gives us a glimpse at past Player Portraits. In our opinion, this year's image and concept is the best by far. The worst? The 2002 pageant moment . Check out Andre Agassi's expression - even he looks embarassed.

(image courtesy of Quentin Shih)

SIGHTING: The ladies of the WTA Tour celebrate the season's end in style

End of the line: The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's 2007 season went out with an emphatic end this weekend with World No. 1 Justine Henin winning the WTA Championships title in an epic battle against Maria "Shriek"apova in what we think was the women's match of the year. The Belgian star won 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in the longest match in the Championship's history, and was rewarded with $1 million, a trophy, and a photo op with the sexy model ball boys.

Afterwards, the ladies celebrated the end of another long tennis season in style at the Sony Ericsson Player's Party in Madrid:

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